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CT Scanner at North Shore Hospital First of Its Kind in NZ

2 August 2011

New CT Scanner at North Shore Hospital First of Its Kind in New Zealand

A new $2.8m revolutionary CT scanner will mean shorter waiting times and faster scans for Waitemata DHB patients.

An opening ceremony was held at North Shore Hospital today to launch the Toshiba Aquilion™ ONE CT scanner – the first of its kind in New Zealand.

With the ability to capture highly detailed four-dimensional images, the scanner enables doctors to view every angle of an organ, along with blood flow and function. It will be used to evaluate potentially life-threatening conditions such as head injuries, strokes and cardiac disease. The machine can scan the entire heart within a single heartbeat.

“The installation of the new Toshiba Aquilion One scanner at North Shore Hospital will significantly increase CT capacity across the DHB, allowing us to keep up with demand, which has increased exponentially in the last few years,” says Dr David Cranefield, CT radiologist team leader. “It will also mean decreased waiting times for patients.”

“In addition the cutting-edge technology of the new CT will give us the ability to perform a whole new range of advanced applications, including being the first DHB in the country to offer urgent CT scans to ascertain if patient chest pains are caused by the heart.”

Located in the newly expanded Radiology department, the scanner is part of North Shore Hospital’s Lakeview development programme, which includes a new Emergency Department and an Assessment and Diagnostic Unit.

Chief executive Dr Dale Bramley said the expanded Radiology department is part of Waitemata DHB’s ongoing build programme to meet the needs of its growing population.

“Continued investment in our equipment and facilities is one of our key priorities,” says Dr Bramley. “The CT scanner is a key part of ensuring that we continually improve the service we provide our community.”

This additional scanner will also help reduce the wait time for oncology (cancer) patients waiting for follow-up scans to assess the effect of treatment.

As the scanner is the first of its type in New Zealand, North Shore Hospital will act as a reference site for other DHBs around the country. The hospital will work with Toshiba to extend its research through regional and international user group networks and help promote learning and knowledge about scanning equipment and emergency procedures.

Patient benefits of this scanner include:
• Less time on the CT table
• Reduced exposure to radiation and contrast dye
• Reduced or eliminated risk of unnecessary invasive procedures
• Significant reduction in the time needed for problems to be diagnosed and treated

Benefits for the hospital and clinical staff include:
• Increased patient output (double the number of daily patient scans in North Shore)
• Rapid diagnosis of the severity of an injury or condition
• Prompt determination of whether or not a patient needs to be admitted to hospital
• Rapid identification of appropriate patient treatment
• Ability to quickly evaluate treatment response in cancer patients


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